When I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, one of my professors, Bryant Myers, taught me that, “The heart of poverty is broken relationships.”
Years later, this education has shaped the way I see the world and the way I lead in global relief.
Myers taught that before the Fall, God established five basic relationships that each person was created to live in: with God, with self, with others, with community, and with creation.
When these relationships function properly, they pave the way for human flourishing. But when one or more of them are broken, they create all kinds of poverty in our lives and in the lives of others:
- Broken relationships with others can lead to conflict.
- A broken relationship with creation deprives us of God’s life-giving intent for the earth—that everyone has access to beauty and sustainable food, water, and resources.
- Broken relationships with ourselves affect our ability to see change and the possibility of change.
- And a broken relationship with God prevents us from experiencing grace and restoration.
Current crises, broken relationships
Over the past year, we’ve talked at length about how COVID, conflict and climate change have created the worst humanitarian crisis we’ve seen in decades.
In these crises we see evidence of broken relationships. War displaces families from their homes. Communities are vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters. Women and girls face increasing violence and discrimination. Our own brokenness often leaves us feeling hopeless and unable to engage, while pride and division prevent us from finding mutual solutions to these complex problems.
It is clear that the old models of providing humanitarian aid cannot suffice. If we want to move forward, we have to adopt a new vision. We must remember that a thriving world is a connected world, and it takes all of us to create change that lasts.
At World Relief, we have long been committed to solving our world’s problems holistically, creating a path for people and communities to restore relationships and thrive. For nearly 80 years, we’ve been walking alongside local churches and community leaders as they create lasting change, and many of you have walked alongside us.
As we begin the new year, the issues we face in 2022 are not far behind. But thanks to the generosity of people like you, World Relief is prepared and ready to meet the evolving needs of our world. Together, we will Go away, go deep And go together In 2023And I’m eager to tell you how.
To go away: Ukraine, Chad and Ethiopia
Since February 2022, World Relief has partnered with local churches and Christian agencies. Ukraineresponding to the devastating war that still continues. This summer, it became clear that a long-term presence in Ukraine was necessary to meet the enormous needs that would continue for years to come.
World Relief has decades of experience working in existing and post-conflict settings. Our team in Ukraine will build on our technical experience to increase the capacity of local churches to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those affected by war.
I Chadwe have also had the opportunity to strengthen local churches to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people.
The southern part of Chad is a predominantly Christian region with high population density and few humanitarian actors. Existing local, faith-based NGOs need capacity-building support from international Christian NGOs such as World Relief to increase impact.
We expect the Chad office to open in early 2023, and we are moving forward with plans to open an office as well. Ethiopia as well as.
Go deeper: Mental health counseling and disability inclusion
While others may focus on one area of intervention or provide only immediate support, we are committed to fully responding to needs with proven solutions.
For refugees and other migrants, this means that many people experience profound physical and psychological trauma when they are forced to leave their homes and rebuild their lives in an entirely new culture. Rebuild.
Providing global support offices in Chicagoland and North Carolina. Mental health counseling for refugees for over 20 years. In 2023, we are expanding this service line to more offices to better serve the needs of those facing relocation.
Our commitment to thriving communities is also reflected in the depth of our disability-inclusive programming.. People with disabilities represent some of the most disadvantaged. The poorest 20 percent of the world in developing countries.
World Relief Malawi piloted disability-inclusive programming in 2019, reaching more than 400 people through church-led initiatives in the first two years. Since then, we have expanded disability-inclusive programming to church networks in Burundi and Rwanda, and plan to train churches in six more countries around the world.
Go Together: Creating Lasting Change
At the heart of our commitment to go further and deeper is our commitment to go together, to live out our call to serve in both word and deed the individual and collective expressions of the Church.
Our newly formed church and community engagement team is working hard to engage more people and more congregations in creating welcoming communities for immigrants in America.
Globally, our Outreach Group Initiative continues to equip volunteers to meet the spiritual and physical needs of their neighbors, while savings groups are bringing people together, providing support and friendship as communities grow economically. are changing.
And then there’s you—as you move into this new year, I pray that you see yourself as part of a global movement that is making a difference around the world. My prayer is that you will find ways to strengthen the relational connections in your life so that the effects of lasting change continue to spread.
The challenges we face are great. But, by the power of Jesus, there is more hope when we go. Forward together.
Do you want to be a part of this global movement? You can make a difference in 2023 by joining World Relief. Learn more and give today.
Mayall Green There is a deep desire to see churches around the world equipped, empowered, and engaged in meeting the needs of vulnerable families in their communities. In 2021, he became president and CEO after serving fourteen years with the organization. During eight years in Rwanda, he developed World Relief’s innovative church-based programming model that is now used in nine countries. He also spent six years in a leadership role in the International Programs Division. He has previous experience working with the US government. He holds a BS in Finance from Lehigh University and an MA in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife Sharon have three children.